Is it your first visit to Uganda ? If so , start here. Have you been in Uganda for sometime and can not figure out the pricing ? If so , the answer is in the title. Uganda is a beautiful country blessed with luscious hills, lovely weather , fertile soils, numerous water bodies, snow-capped mountain, kind caring people good looking too and apparently only six varieties of sauce. In no particular order , when you go to a Uganda homestead , you will most likely find one of the following : Gnuts <called peanuts by the Others>, beans, meat,fish ,chicken and if you are lucky peas. Please note that Ugandans do not consider vegetable stew as sauce. They call it greens . Even the carrots and beet root. It is reserved as an extra side dish or for the foolish ones who are trying to copy Bazungu <white people>. All sauces in Uganda are in one or the other variations of the aforementioned six. Which is probably the reason why the average restaurant in Uganda uses the sauce to determine how much to charge you .Beans are for some reason the cheapest. Probably has something to do with colonialism . Next up comes gnuts. then peas. then meat. MEAT. Ugandans love meat. There is only one truly vegetarian eatery i have come across in the whole country . Roasted meat, boiled meat, fried meat, deep fried, grilled ……. Anything on legs is eaten apart from dogs and cats. The favourite is pork , then beef then goat then mutton. Topping the list of most expensive is chicken.
A typical conversation with a waitress goes something like
You :”What do you have to eat ? “
Her :”Fish in gnuts, boiled meat, beans, plain fish and chicken”
You : “DO you have any food ?”
Her : (rolls eyes) “I just told you !! Kyoka abantu!! “
You :”What can i have with meat ? “
Her :”SO i bring you meat?”
You: “With what ?”
Her : “But you ka-man!! the usual, rice ,posho , matooke and yams!! What did you expect ?”
You:”How much would that cost ?”
Her:”Meat costs 3500 sillings”
You:”and the food?”
Her :(Hands on hips) “You ka-man!! stop wasting my time. I have told you 3500 sillings !!”
At this point you are advised to shut up and eat whatever she decides to serve you.
Everything else is free. The food, you can order as much as you want of that without any extra fee. As many different dishes you would like to sample. When its over , you can ask for the a top up without the waitress batting an eyelid. You are even given a free glass of water to wish it all down .
SO next time you are in a traditional Ugandan joint , don’t be alarmed when the menu only contains sauce items. If you read the fine print at the bottom, you would find something like “All sauces served with …….”